NCAA March Madness: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Maryland Terrapins betting preview, odds and predictions
In a 1 vs. 8 matchup in the South region of the NCAA Tournament, the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Maryland Terrapins for the right to move on to the Sweet 16. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting odds, in-depth team analysis and expert college basketball picks. Make us your one-stop shop for all of your betting needs.
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How to watch Alabama vs. Maryland
When: Saturday, 9:40 p.m. ET
Where: Birmingham, Alabama
Odds for Alabama vs. Maryland
Spread: Alabama -8.5
(Odds accurate as of Thursday, March 16th at 5:30 p.m. ET)
Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook
South Region No. 1 Seed Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama has everything you want in an NCAA tournament contender, as the Crimson Tide have a top-10 defense, reliable guards and a legitimate superstar in Brandon Miller. Miller looks like a lock to be a top-five pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, as he’s a 6-foot-9 forward that is absolutely lethal from three yet can also create for himself off the dribble. Having the best player on the floor is always a huge advantage during March Madness, and Alabama will have that on most nights. The Tide also have the ability to make opponents uncomfortable with their up-tempo style. And they proved they can win with physicality in their victory over the Texas A&M Aggies in the SEC Tournament final.
South Region No. 8 Seed Maryland Terrapins
Maryland might not be elite on either end of the floor, but the Terrapins are incredibly balanced. This was nearly a top-30 team on both ends of the floor when it came to offensive and defensive efficiency during the regular season, according to our VSiN Team Power Ratings. And the Terps do have a player that can put them on his back and lead them on a run, as Jahmir Young had nine games with 20 or more points during the regular season. This is very much a Kevin Willard basketball team, as the former Seton Hall Pirates head coach didn’t take long to install his culture in College Park. The Terps might not have championship upside, but they’re going to give their opponents hell in March. The team proved that by erasing an early deficit to defeat a good West Virginia Mountaineers team last round.
Alabama vs. Maryland Matchup Analysis
Who out there thought Alabama would beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi by 21 without freshman phenom Brandon Miller scoring a single point? Anybody? Anybody at all? Bueller...Bueller? Well, that's exactly what happened in Alabama's NCAA tournament opener, and that win spoke to the depth of this Crimson Tide team.
While Alabama's win on Thursday showed that this group isn't some kind of one-man show, Miller will need to be a lot better against a Maryland program that was top 35 in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency metric heading into the tournament. Buckets won't always be easy to come by for the Tide, so Miller's spectacular shotmaking will need to be on display.
This matchup is one that should be fun to see play out, as Alabama played at the fifth-fastest pace in college basketball this season. Meanwhile, Kevin Willard's group was ranked 322nd in the country in tempo. With the Tide also being a top-20 offensive team, the Terps will desperately want to turn this into a half-court battle. They can't let Alabama get out and run, as the Tide are just far too dangerous offensively.
The problem for Maryland is that Alabama is also fantastic defensively. This season, the Terps were first in the nation in 2PT% defense and third in 3PT% defense. So, not only are the Tide better offensively, but they're also going to give the Terps hell on the other end of the floor. Maryland guard Jahmir Young had only 10 points on 1-of-5 shooting in the win over West Virginia, but he'll be counted on to do a lot more in this game. He'll need to hit some shots to soften up the Bama defense a bit.
On top of everything else, this game will be played in Birmingham. That means the more talented side will also have a significant home-court advantage. So, bet against Alabama at your own risk!
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